UNSW researchers working to fast-track cancer treatments from the laboratory to the bedside have received major backing in the latest round of funding from The Cancer Institute NSW.

Two of the biggest grants of $6.5 million went to UNSW researchers working to translate laboratory discoveries into viable cancer treatments.

UNSW Conjoint Professor Glenn Marshall, is Director of the Translational Cancer Research Centre for Kids in NSW, known as the Kids Cancer Alliance, which brings together cancer researchers from across the state.

“This funding will help us accelerate improvements in the survival rates and quality of life of children diagnosed with cancer," Professor Marshall said.

UNSW Conjoint Professor David Goldstein leads a team in the Translational Cancer Research Network, which is bridging the gap between cancer research and clinical practice. UNSW is one of five founding institutions in the network.

UNSW cancer researchers also received eight other grants totalling $3.6 million.

Dr Mark Polizzotto, from UNSW’s Kirby Institute, has been awarded a $796,000 Future Research Leaders Fellowship to develop new therapies to improve outcomes for people with HIV and cancer.

“As people with HIV live longer, cancers are becoming increasingly important causes of morbidity and mortality, however people living with HIV are excluded from standard clinical trials of new cancer therapies, partly due to the complexity of their medical condition,” Dr Polizzotto said.

“It is therefore essential that dedicated trials are available to enable them to reap the benefits of rapid and ongoing advances in cancer therapy.”

Career Development Fellowships

Dr Nadeem Omar Kaakoush, from UNSW’s School of Medical Sciences, has been awarded $593,000 to investigate the role of microbes in inflammation and abnormal tissue changes in oesophageal cancer.

Dr Joshua McCarroll, from UNSW’s Children’s Cancer Institute and the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine based at UNSW, has been awarded $150,000 to investigate nanomedicine-based treatments to inhibit the spread and growth of lung cancer growth.

Early Career Fellowships

Dr Duohui Jing, from the Children’s Cancer Institute, has been awarded $607,000 to investigate reversing glucocorticoid resistance in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Dr Anchit Khanna, from UNSW’s Lowy Cancer Research Centre, has been awarded $442,000 to identify novel therapeutic targets for brain tumours.

Dr Elizabeth Hinde, from UNSW’s School of Medical Sciences, has been awarded $417,000 to investigate the nuclear delivery of DNA chemotherapeutics by pathogen shaped nanoparticles.

Research Infrastructure Grants

Professor Glenn Marshall, who is based at the Children’s Cancer Institute, has also been awarded $300,000 to manage the prospective bio-banking of child cancer samples for precision medicine and research.

UNSW Conjoint Professor Murray Norris, from the Children’s Cancer Institute, has been awarded $300,000 for continuing infrastructure support for highly skilled professional staff to manage the ACRF Drug Discovery Centre for Childhood Cancer.